Want to be a thorn in the Area 224 side? Send us a bunch of words on a page and call it a “Press Release.”
We just got another one of these and, frankly, it was pretty bad.
What qualifies us here at Area 224 HQ to say that? Well, we’ve written our fair share of them. And we’ve shepherded countless more of them either through the approval process or, in many cases, to the scrap heap where they belong.
Let’s dissect this one, with identifying information changed to protect the offenders.
Subject Line of Email: “NEW XYZ Associates Press Release!”
What’s wrong with this picture? Well, aside from the fact that I’m deathly afraid that whoever wrote this subject also dots the letter i with a smiley face, I now know nothing more than this fact: XYZ has a press release. Leading us to…
Maxim #1: Putting “Press Release” or “News Release” on top of Marketing Material does not make it news.
First Sentence of News Release: “XYZ Associates, Inc. is proud to announce six more customers are using its service.”
This, also, does not make it news. Bringing us to…
Maxim #2: They are called “News” Releases for a reason. News.
In the first paragraph, the “release” goes on to explain just how many people, through these six additional customers, can access this service. And it talks about the fact that it’s a free service. Setting us up for dissection of the following:
Quote from one of the six new clients, paragraph 3: “XYZ Associates’ service allows us to (blah blah blah) and we can do (blah blah blah) in one place!”
I’ve always wanted to be one of those folks who says “empasis added” for effect. But, unfortunately, this quote does, indeed, include an exclamation point.
Maxim #3: Don’t write a News Release when a phone call can accomplish more.
Wait, in this modern, interweb world, how would a phone call accomplish more?
Simple – in this case, the six new clients were all over the map. What matters to Tulsa might not matter to Tampa.
A phone call to the most influential person in Tulsa who covers this particular space might yield the answer to the question that’s on the minds of every editor who has ever seen a press release or news release:
Is there a story here?
News Releases should ALWAYS be written with the end in mind. Is that end a story in the paper? Something sent around on the Internet? Something you can mail off to prospects?
Still want to write a release? Here’s what you do…
Then, once it’s crafted appropriately, visit Pitch Engine. Get your pitch out there.
And be sure to write it good. Or goodly.